Robbie Neilson reacts as confirmed Celtic target Danny Wilson becomes free agent

Hearts Warm Up

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is disappointed to see Danny Wilson leave Tynecastle.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson has confirmed to the club's official website that defender Danny Wilson will leave on a free transfer this summer.

Hearts romped to the Scottish Championship title, and will be returning to the Premiership - but now have to do it without their captain Wilson.

The 23-year-old centre back, formerly of Rangers, joined from Liverpool in January 2013 initially on loan, before joining permanently almost two years.

Wilson captained Hearts to the title, and his performances prompted Celtic boss Ronny Deila to confirm to Sky Sports that he is interested in landing Wilson this summer.

With Virgil van Dijk possibly heading to the Premier League and Jason Denayer set to return to Manchester City at the end of his loan deal, Celtic certainly need at least one centre back this summer - and now ex-Rangers youngster Wilson could head to the other side of the Old Firm.

His Hearts manager Neilson has now told the club's official website that Wilson is leaving this summer having invoked a clause in his contract where he can become a free agent at the end of the season.

"Danny’s decided he wants a new challenge and, as I’ve said previously, I’ll never stand in the way of any player who wants to move on so he goes with our blessing and our thanks," said Neilson. "He’s been an outstanding servant to this club and has played a vital part in its revival this season."

"He had options to go at the start of this season but he stayed because he wanted to see the job through and get us back to the top flight so for that I can’t thank him enough. We’ll miss him on and off the park and he’s been a great captain but that’s football; players join and players leave and we’re no different here at Hearts," he added.

It will now be interesting to see whether Celtic to make a move to sign Wilson this summer, with his free agent status certainly fitting in their budget.

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